Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, died on Saturday at the age of 62.
It was learnt that he died of a high blood pressure.
Alamieyeseigha, who died around 4pm, was earlier rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from his residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday.
A source told SUNDAY PUNCH that the governor stayed briefly in Yenagoa last week before he went to Port Harcourt where his health condition worsened.
It was learnt that the ex-governor later slipped into a coma and had been on life support for two days until his death on Saturday.
His remains, according to a source at the UPTH, were later moved to the mortuary in the hospital.
The source said, “He was down ‘somehow’ for the past few days. He was in Yenagoa and from Yenagoa to his Port Harcourt house. It was from his Port Harcourt house that they moved him to UPTH.
“He was moved to UPTH from his house in Port Harcourt on Wednesday. He died this afternoon around 4pm. They said his death was as a result of cardiac arrest.”
When contacted, the Chief Medical Director, Professor Aaron Ojule, declined to speak on the matter and referred our correspondent to the family of the former governor.
Another source at the Port Harcourt International Airport told our correspondent that one of the sons of the ex-governor known to be a very cheerful person was moody when he was seen at the airport on Saturday.
“He has been a very cheerful person. But today, he appeared very moody. We never knew the reason for this until we heard that his father just died,” the source said.
Often referred to as the ‘Governor-General of the Ijaw Nation,’ Alameiyeseigha had a turbulent political past when he was the governor of Bayelsa State.
He was once accused of corruption and allegedly disguised as a woman in London in order to evade arrest over charges of money laundering and was later impeached as a governor.
Alamieyeseigha was a die-hard supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson.
The United Kingdom had in 2013 requested for his extradition to the country to face trial but Jonathan, did not grant the request. The administration then granted him presidential pardon.
The British government, again, sought the support of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to extradite Alamieyeseigha to London for trial on alleged money laundering.
He was the governor of Bayelsa State from 1999 to 2005.
Alamieyeseigha, died a month to his 63rd birthday. Pardoned by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for his conviction on corrupt practices as Governor of Bayelsa, he was recently thrown into a panic state by the request of the British government for his extradition.
The request by the government of United Kingdom has however been a subject of criticism as Ijaw groups and political leaders had described it as suspicious and a political vendetta by the President Buhari Administration.
Alamieyeseigha had in recent times also been a strong advocate of the second term aspiration of the incumbent Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.
In his last outing as one of the political leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Alamieyeseigha had been clamouring for the people to vote for the PDP.
He had perceived that the upcoming onslaught of the All Progressives Congress in the state during the forthcoming December 5 governorship poll would not work as the state is solely for the PDP.
The news of the demise of Alamieyeseigha, who until his death was regarded as one of the greatest leaders the state had ever had, hit the residents like a thunderstorm.
In every nook and crany of the state, particularly in Yenagoa, residents, especially of the Ijaw stock, were seen discussing the death in hush tones.
In his reaction, Governor Seriake Dickson described Alamieseigha’s death as a personal loss to him, the government and people of Bayelsa.
He described the deceased political icon as a strong pillar of support to his government, stressing that his demise was a painful and monumental loss to the entire Ijaw nation, which he had always stood firm for in all its ramifications.
Dickson in a statement by his media aide, Daniel Iworiso-Markson said, “The Bayelsa State Government also commiserates with his wife, Margret, his immediate family, the Alamieyeseighas, the entire people of the state. The Ijaw nation has indeed lost a rare gem.”